By James Collier BSc (Hons), Registered Nutritionist, who devised the Huel and Huel Bar formulas. He has over 25 years of experience working in nutrition and dietetics, including seven years as a clinical dietician in the NHS. Covering an array of clinical areas, he worked with people with a wide range of ailments and food intolerances. He also has an honours degree in Nutrition with Dietetics: read more about James here.
Huel is more than complete nutrition. Huel meets the UK and EU Reference Nutrient Intake (RNI), Reference Intake (RI) and Nutrient Reference Value (NRV) for all macro- and micronutrients(1, 2), it also provides a sustained source of energy and has a wealth of other benefits. These recommended daily amount figures (RDAs) are what’s accepted as enough of each nutrient to cover the majority of the population. But Huel products – including Huel Granola – provide a lot more than the RDA; they provide optimal nutrition. Here’s why...
Rolled OATS (35%), Pea Protein (35%), Seeds (11%) (Sunflower Seeds, Flaxseeds, Pumpkin Seeds), Chicory Root Fibre, Brown Rice Syrup, Raw Cane Sugar, Coconut Oil, Micronutrient Blend*, Natural Flavouring.
Ingredients of Huel Berry Granola
Rolled OATS (35%), Pea Protein (35%), Seeds (11%) (Sunflower Seeds, Flaxseeds, Pumpkin Seeds), Chicory Root Fibre, Brown Rice Syrup, Raw Cane Sugar, Coconut Oil, Micronutrient Blend*, Natural Flavourings, Freeze-Dried Fruit Pieces (0.8%) (Raspberries, Cherries, Strawberries, Blueberries).
*Calcium Citrate, Magnesium Chloride, Choline L-Bitartrate, Vitamin C, Vitamin K1, Thiamin Mononitrate, Riboflavin, Niacin (as Nicotinamide), Vitamin B6 (as Pyridoxine Hydrochloride), Biotin, Potassium Iodide, Sodium Selenite, Vitamin B12 (as Cyanocobalamin), Vitamin A (as Retinol Acetate), Pantothenic Acid (as Calcium-D-Pantothenate), Vitamin K2 (as MK-7), Chromium Chloride, L-Methylfolate Calcium, Vitamin D2, Vitamin E (as D-Alpha Tocopherol Acetate).
The principal macronutrients through which we obtain energy from food are carbohydrates, fats, proteins and fibre, and Huel Granola contains them at the ratio of 42:26:26:6 respectively; i.e. 42% of the energy comes from carbohydrates, 26% from fats, 26% from proteins and 6% from fibre.
The simplest units of protein are amino acids, nine of which are essential and have a minimum daily requirement. Other amino acids are also important and any diet has to contain a significant amount of protein. There are also some fatty acids that are essential for life and good health, so including good sources of fat in our diet is crucial too. Carbohydrates, on the other hand, are not strictly essential, but they do have significant benefits and are important parts of a healthy diet especially in sustaining even energy levels.
Huel Granola provides the macronutrients in ratios that allow for optimum health and sustained energy release whilst also covering macronutritional requirements for disease prevention. The macro ratios in Huel Granola are different to that of powdered Huel due to the production process improved in making a great-tasting product with a pleasant texture and flavour, so different ingredients have to be used.
The carbs in Huel Granola are from a number of ingredients including rolled oats which provide beta-glucan soluble fibre (great for cholesterol-lowering) as well as many vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and phytonutrients.
Carbs also come from a number of other ingredients including brown rice syrup and raw cane sugar which contribute to making the total sugar content of Huel Granola significantly higher than that of Huel powder. However, the total sugar content is still well below the maximum daily intake of sugar as per the UK and EU recommendations. We need to include these syrups in order to form the granola clusters. We include soluble fibre liquids, but in moderation in order to avoid causing a laxative effect, so we’ve found a balance between the oils, soluble fibres and syrups that meets both nutritional goals and makes a pleasant granola.
Compared to other cereal products on the market, Huel Granola is much lower in sugar content at just 5.7g per 60g serving (Berry flavour), which is 9.5% by weight. Compare this to Fuel 10K Fruit Loaded Granola at 27.4% by weight, Rude Health The Ultimate Granola Organic at 12.0% and Dorset Cereals Berry Granola at 15.0%.
The fats in Huel Granola provide 26% of the total energy and come from primarily sunflower seeds, flaxseeds, pumpkin seeds and coconut oil supplying the essential fatty acids in ample quantities. The fats in coconut oil include medium-chain triglycerides, or MCTs, and these are treated much like carbs, i.e. they provide an energy-rich, sustained fuel and are perfect for those of us with busy lifestyles (3). MCTs also have other benefits most notably that they are not susceptible to oxidation, meaning that they do not contribute to the formation of atherosclerotic plaques in blood vessels, which are involved in the cardiovascular disease process. MCTs from coconut are a healthy and efficient source of energy.
There are two completely essential fatty acids (EFAs) that humans require: linoleic acid (LA – an omega-6 fatty acid) and alpha-linolenic acid (ALA – an omega-3) (4). By including sunflower seeds, flaxseeds and pumpkin seeds, we’ve ensured Huel Granola contains high amounts of both of these EFAs as well as other omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids. Moreover, these natural seeds provide phytonutrient antioxidants and other vitamins and minerals which help minimise free-radical production. Free-radicals may be involved in the pathology of cancer and cardiovascular disease and also contribute to the ageing process, so it’s desirable to keep their formation to a minimum.
The recommended intake for protein is 50g per day which covers our very basic needs and is merely sufficient to prevent protein deficiency (1,2) and a typical Western diet provides more than these baseline requirements (5). Huel Granola is high protein and, based on a 2,000 calorie intake, supplies 132g protein per day with each 60g serving providing 14.1g. This provides a good amount for optimal health as well as building and maintaining a healthy body. All essential amino acids (see below) are included in adequate amounts and come from pea protein, oats and seeds. Protein is also more satiating (appetite suppressing) than other macronutrients (6), so Huel Granola will help curb unwanted hunger pangs.
The bulk of the vitamins and minerals in Huel Granola are from natural ingredients. However, in order to meet the demands of a Western lifestyle, we’ve added a unique vitamin and mineral blend to provide at least 100% of the recommended daily amounts; more in some cases.
The UK and EU Nutrient Reference Values (NRVs) are recommended levels based on sufficient levels to prevent deficiency with a buffer for stores and some disease prevention. However, for some micronutrients, levels higher than the NRV may be beneficial to health. For example, it’s widely considered that the amount of vitamin C we’re recommended to consume is too low (7,8,9), so we’ve added a high amount to Huel Granola. Benefits of consuming more vitamin C include a healthy immune system and healthy skin and it also has antioxidant properties (8,9,10). Vitamin C also helps the absorption of some minerals, most notably iron (8,10,11).
We’ve also included vitamin D at a level a lot higher (400% per 2,000 calories) than the NRV (2). The levels of some minerals are far higher than the recommended amounts. This is because the ingredients in Huel Granola are a naturally rich source.
Phytic acid is a naturally occurring substance found in oats and seeds and it can reduce the some minerals meaning that they’re less bioavailable (12,13). As oats and seeds are core ingredients in Huel Granola, the effects of phytic acid would be a valid concern, so we’ve ensured the levels of some minerals, like iron, are higher, to mitigate any issues with phytic acid’s effects, plus the high amount of vitamin C will help promote the absorption of these minerals (11).
The fibre in Huel Granola is a mixture of soluble and insoluble forms all naturally supplied from the food ingredients, and provides more than most modern diets. The high-fibre content helps to ensure the formation of normal, solid stools in healthy users. The chicory food fibre is added to help bind the granola clusters in production. Oats are rich in beta-glucans, a soluble fibre that has cholesterol-lowering effects (14).
Phytonutrients are substances found in plant foods which may exhibit some health benefits like disease-risk prevention. Many convenience foods are deficient in phytonutrients and consumers miss out on invaluable health benefits and antioxidants. Some phytonutrients have antioxidant activity and help protect against cardiovascular disease, some cancers and age-related conditions.
The fundamental ingredients in Huel Granola are plant-derived and rich in phytonutrients including avenanthramides – antioxidant polyphenols unique to oats shown to have anti-inflammatory effects (15) – and ferulic acid, also from oats – a potent antioxidant and antibacterial agent that has also been shown to have anti-cancer properties (16).
Huel Granola = Optimal Nutrition
Huel Granola provides superior nutrition. Huel Granola and other Huel products can be your sole nutritional source, or you can consume them as individual meals or even as between-meal snacks. In this way they can be an add-on improvement to your diet to ensure you’re giving your body what it needs.
Protein is made up of amino acids. There are over 500 amino acids in nature, 20 of which are known as the standard amino acids, as these are the ones that are coded for genetically and are subsequently involved in primary protein synthesis in animals. Of these 20, nine are essential as they cannot be synthesised from other amino acids.
The nine essential amino acids are:
The other 11 are:
Amino Acid Content of the Huel Granola (European formula v1.0)
|Amino Acid (mg)||Per 100g||Per 60g serving||RDA*||% of RDA|
All protein sources are not equal: some are classed as ‘complete proteins’ and some are not. A complete protein is one that contains sufficient quantities of all nine essential amino acids.
Generally, proteins derived from animal foods (meats, fish, poultry, milk and eggs) are complete. Indeed, some proteins derived from plant foods (legumes, seeds, grains and vegetables) are often complete as well; examples include chickpeas, black beans, pumpkin seeds, cashews, cauliflower, quinoa, pistachios, turnip greens, black-eyed peas and soya. Many plant foods have insufficient amounts or one or more of the essential amino acids. Some are notably low, such as corn protein, which is low in lysine and isoleucine.
The protein in Huel Granola comes from pea protein, oats, flaxseeds, sunflower seeds and pumpkin seeds. Using a range of protein-supplying ingredients ensures good amounts of all essential and non-essential amino acids.
Huel Granola is suitable for people with most conditions. However, as some conditions require dietary intervention, like with any food, please heed the notes below for the following conditions.
Diabetes mellitus – Huel Granola is suitable for type 1 and type 2 diabetics in moderation; please structure your intake appropriately.
Inborn errors of metabolism – if you have a glycogen storage disorder (GSD) or other inborn error of metabolism where you require dietary manipulation, you must consult your doctor or specialist clinician before consuming Huel Granola.
Inflammatory bowel disease – if you suffer from Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis or proctitis, due to the high fibre content, we suggest caution when consuming Huel Granola as symptoms vary considerably between individuals. Try one serving per day for a few days and assess symptoms before increasing your intake. If you are experiencing a flare-up, we advise you not to consume Huel Granola.
Pregnancy and lactation – Huel Granola is fine to use during pregnancy and for nursing/lactating mothers, but it should not be the sole source of nutrition as there are different nutritional requirements during this period.
Children – Huel Granola is not suitable for children under three years of age. However, older children may include it as part of a balanced diet that includes a variety of other foods.
Huel Granola and other Huel products are not suitable for those who suffer from phenylketonuria (PKU).
Huel Granola is fine to consume if you're using most medication. Although there is no reason why there should be an issue, there may be specific drug-nutrient interactions relating to a particular medicine you’re using, so we recommend you read the drug information provided with your prescription and if you have any further concerns discuss them with your doctor.
Huel Granola is 100% vegan. Contains gluten (from oats) but no other UK/EU listed allergens. Made in a factory that also handles nuts.
1 HMSO 1991. Dietary Reference Values for Food Energy and Nutrients for the United Kingdom.
3 Marten B, et al. Medium-chain triglycerides. Int Dairy J. 2006; 16(11):1374-82
4 Linus Pauling Institute. Essential Fatty Acids. http://lpi.oregonstate.edu/mic/other-nutrients/essential-fatty-acids
5 Cordain L, et al. Origins and evolution of the Western diet: health implications for the 21st century. Am J Clin Nutr. 2005; 81(2):341-354.
6 Weigle DS, et al. A high-protein diet induces sustained reductions in appetite, ad libitum caloric intake, and body weight despite compensatory changes in diurnal plasma leptin and ghrelin concentrations. Am J Clin Nutr. 2005; 82(1):41-8.
7 Deruelle F, Baron B. Vitamin C: is supplementation necessary for optimal health?. J Altern Complement Med. 2008; 14(10):1291-8.
8 Combs J, Gerald F. The Vitamins. 4 ed. Burlington: Elsevier Science; 2012
9 Carr A, Frei B. Toward a new recommended dietary allowance for vitamin C based on antioxidant and health effects in humans. Am J Clin Nutr. 1999; 69(6):1086-107
10 Linus Pauling Institute. Vitamin C. http://lpi.oregonstate.edu/mic/vitamins/vitamin-C
11 Lopez HW, et al. Minerals and phytic acid interactions: is it a real problem for human nutrition? Food Sci & Tech. 2002; 37(7):727-39.
12 Schlemmer U, et al. Phytate in foods and significance for humans: Food sources, intake, processing, bioavailability, protective role and analysis. Mol Nutr Food Res 2009; 53:S330-S75.
13 Gupta RK, et al. Reduction of phytic acid and enhancement of bioavailable micronutrients in food grains. J Food Sci Tech. 2015; 52(2):676-84.
14 Brown L, et al. Cholesterol-lowering effects of dietary fiber: a meta-analysis. Am J Clin Nutr. 1999; 69(1):30–42.
16 Ibtissem B, et al. Antioxidant and Antibacterial Properties of Mesembryanthemum crystallinum and Carpobrotus edulis Extracts. Ad Chem Eng & Sci 2. 2012; (3):359-65.
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